So, you have achieved your long-awaited degree and you are ready to set sail on your career adventure. Into the big blue ocean, you go! And your next concern will revolve around “how am I going to succeed in my particular career?” How are you going to effectively climb your way to the top of the career ladder?

When starting out, graduates with big ambitions often dream of having a highly successful career that will provide you with the lifestyle that you desire. To attain this goal, you need to stand out from the crowd and try separate yourself from ‘the average joes.’ This is something that is largely in your control as it lies in your commitment and overall keenness to reach your goals, in an effective and efficient manner. Once you have the right mindset and the eagerness “to be in it to win it,” you can start to climb on that well-deserved ladder.

Building up a career isn’t easy, especially for graduates. It is particularly difficult if you are competing against people with the same or better qualifications than you. Experience and skills carry a lot of weight when it comes to applying for a job. Be sure to highlight positive character traits but also technical talents that you have developed over time through hard work and dedication.

You are wanting to boost your career prospects and gain that extra edge, here are 4 tips to help you kick-start your career:

  1. Make sure your brand image is at its BEST – Make sure your resume is current and always keep an updated version on hand. It is also a great idea to maintain your social media profiles, like an up-to-date LinkedIn profile which can incorporate your latest accomplishments. A professional profile picture is key. But most importantly make sure everything that is on your resume is reflected on your social profiles.
  2. Build a work portfolio – Portfolios were always seen more for the creative types, but nowadays employers are eager to see samples of your work from professionals across the board. Remember to keep your portfolio relevant to the types of jobs you are looking for!
  3. Listen and observe – When beginning your professional journey, one of your best attributes should consist of your ability to LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN, and observe. Listening carefully will help you avoid misunderstanding and it will also give you a big boost in building relationships with others. This ultimately allows you to learn more about your environment and grasp the business you are in.
  4. Gaining work experience – Whether it’s a paid or unpaid internship, work experience can be incredibly useful when trying to crack into any industry. Work experience or internships aren’t possible for everyone, but if it is an option for you, it could give you an edge above other candidates.

Overall, building a successful career requires tolerance, determination, and patience. By keeping the above-mentioned career tips in mind, you’ll be putting yourself on the right track towards great achievements.